NATIONAL WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN MONTH
Write your plan—or tweak it— to prepare for the new year.
A business needs a roadmap to find its path to success—and that’s why business plans are so important. They define the business’s objectives and how it plans to achieve its goals. December is National Write a Business Plan Month, which makes now the perfect time to get started.
If you’re thinking of starting a business, develop your plan first. If you want to improve your current business and/or help it adapt to changing circumstances, create a new plan that reflects the opportunities and challenges you may face in 2023—which will be here before you know it.
History of National Write a Business Plan Month
After the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953, it created National Write a Business Plan Month to help small businesses plan and finance their business efforts. Thanks to those efforts, there are now a lot of resources available to help you get started—and get finished—writing your new plan.
Business plans have been around a long time, but the person most often credited with inventing the modern business plan is Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, who was born in Paris in 1739. Before he moved to the United States with his family during the French Revolution, he and a son wrote letters to potential investors and shared their business plan for an American gunpowder mill. The plan inspired investors to provide financial support, and the business that began as a mill in 1802 is now known simply as DuPont, with approximately 28,000 full-time employees in 2021.
How to observe National Write a Business Plan Month
Whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned business professional, National Write a Business Plan Month is a great time to organize the ideas that inspire you and consider how you can incorporate them into a new or updated business plan. Are you just starting out? Do you want to expand your reach, get funding, and learn more about your competition?
Writing a business plan makes you ask yourself hard questions—and search for the answers. These are just a few of the reasons
why creating and/or updating a business plan can help you improve your focus and grow your business. If you’re not familiar with the process, it may seem daunting— but there are plenty of helpful resources online with lessons, videos, webinars, and free, downloadable templates for creating or modifying your business plan. Online sources you should definitely check out include the SBA’s Learning Center, and SCORE, which offers a template gallery for business planning and financial statements. NerdWallet also provides step-by-step instructions for writing a business plan on its website, and LinkedIn Learning offers a course about creating a business plan.
After you’ve gathered the information and/or templates you need, take these steps:
Create or update your business plan. Business plans typically fall into one of two categories
Traditional plans are very detailed and comprehensive, taking more time to write. They include an executive summary, products and services, business goals, marketing analysis, marketing and sales, structure and management, financial information and more. Potential lenders and investors are more likely to ask for this plan.
Lean startup plans are high-level focused plans containing key elements only, and are usually only one page.
Post on social media that you’re creating or updating your plan, and use the hashtag #WriteABusinessPlanMonth. Include a brief overview of your business plan, and invite others to write their own business plan and share information about it. This will also help to draw attention to your business when you are ready to launch.
Set micro-goals to make the entire process less daunting. For example, you could set a time frame to complete each portion of the plan.
Tell a mentor or colleague that you are creating or updating your business plan. This could inspire them to update or write their business plan—and also adds some accountability to the process. Check in with them and update date them on your progress.
Get a reliable proofreader to review your plan. Grammatical errors or typos reflect poorly on you and your business, so ask
someone whose editing skills you respect to review your plan and mark any error you may have missed. Correct any errors before sharing your plan.
Share a post on social media when you’ve finished the new plan. This would also be a great reason to celebrate with your team
When you’re done with your business plan, you have another reason to celebrate the New Year! Make a note to renew it again in
2023, and give yourself another reason to celebrate.
Thanks for checking out the blog.
Joe Breslin , CFP®